Dec 07, 2022  
Graduate Record 2022-2023 
    
Graduate Record 2022-2023

Urban Design Certificate


Return to: Graduate School of Architecture: Departments/Programs  


The Urban Design graduate certificate program is designed to equip Master’s candidates from the School of Architecture’s four departments of Architecture, Landscape Architecture, Urban and Environmental Planning, and Architectural History with the expertise and skills to engage with multi-scalar issues facing urban environments, from urban and infrastructural development, to social equity and resilience. The program will provide students with practical spatial design strategies and analytical tools as well as foundational historical and theoretical knowledge supporting urban design and planning strategies. As a cross-disciplinary program of study, the Urban Design certificate effectively complements the school’s other graduate degree programs by preparing graduates that can join, and meaningfully contribute to, interdisciplinary teams concerned with the urban realm and urban spaces, whether in government, private practice, or in an institutional context.

Architects pursuing the Urban Design certificate will be prepared to join the making of an urban plan and deploy their design skills to create synergy between multiple buildings and the spaces between and around them. For landscape architects, the certificate will provide tools and strategies to prepare them to coordinate the needs of local and regional ecosystems with the needs of urban development. The Urban Design Certificate will build spatial skills and design thinking for students from Urban and Environmental Planning. Students in History will gain concepts and strategies to help ensure that historic buildings and districts maintain or renew their vitality in a changing urban context.

The Urban Design Certificate consists of 15 Credits


To complete the program requirements of the Urban Design Certificate students will fill their elective classes with Urban Design certificate credits. Students are recommended to start with the core classes as these build a foundation for the certificate. Students without design experience in their undergrad education are further required to participate in the Summer Design Institute prior to enrolling in the Urban Design Certificate program.

Full-time degree-seeking student at UVA School of Architecture taking 12-18 credit hours per semester would complete the certificate in 2-3 years (4-6 semesters). All certificate course requirements are to be completed within the time it takes to complete the graduate degree in which they are enrolled, ensuring no additional time is added to the expected length of graduate study.

*Students who are in a path 1 program and who have sufficient electives in their curriculum can fulfill the credits through their open electives in 1 year.

Admission

Students wishing to enter the Urban Design Certificate program must first be admitted to one of the graduate departments in the School of Architecture. To ensure proper academic advising and program coordination, students interested in the Urban Design Certificate program should attend the program meeting at the start of each fall semester. Students, who do not have a previous degree in one of the mentioned disciplines, must enroll in the Summer Design Institute (SDI) at the School of Architecture as a prerequisite for taking the required design studio. Upon arriving at the School of Architecture, students interested in the UDC program will meet with the UDC Director to discuss the curriculum. Afterwards it will be necessary to officially enroll and file a program application form with the Architecture School’s Registrar. Graduate students from departments other than Architecture and Landscape Architecture must have some design studio background prior to taking the required research studio. For graduate students with a previous degree in architecture (comparable at a minimum to the U.Va. M.Arch. PATH 2.5 program), there are no prerequisites to enroll in the UDC.  For students with previous degrees in landscape architecture or urban design, a similar degree with a minimum of four studios is required.

 

Urban Design Certificate Curriculum


The Urban Design graduate certificate is offered through 2 tracks depending on the student’s graduate program. Students in the Architecture, Landscape Architecture, or Urban and Environmental Planning program will enroll in track 1 with an emphasis on urban analysis and design. Students in the Architecture History program can enroll in track 2 with an emphasis on urban design history, theory, and analysis.

[Note: Students might be able to opt-in or out of their track. This, however, is understood as an exception and needs approval from the Urban Design Certificate Program Director.]

Urban Design Certificate Track 1

Students in Track 1 are required to take two urban design core seminars (6 credits), one urban design research studio (6 credits), and one urban design elective course (3 credits) for a total of 15 credits.

In 2022/2023 students in track 1 can choose 2 seminars among 4 options that are addressing two critical aspects of the UDC core. One core course category is offered in history and theory of urban design providing through a range of seminars; a foundation in the historic, geographic, and cultural diversity of cities worldwide based on a comparative study of exemplary projects. The second core course category concentrates on urban design methods and provides design strategies required for analyzing urban processes and intervening in urban environments across multiple scales and temporalities.

Urban Design Core Seminars Track 1 Academic Year 2022/2023: ARCH/PLAN 5614 Urban Strategies, LAR 7500 Water and the City, UD 8612 Urban Design History and Theory, ARH/ARCH 5500 Wood/Lands, or PLAN 5611 Barcelona Urban History for students who spend the fall term in the Barcelona program.

The urban design research studio is offered in the ALAR 8010/8020 sequence and will be identified with a UD *. Studios are addressing urban problematics through a variety of scales ranging from the neighborhood to the city and larger surrounding regions.

Electives will complement core courses by presenting advanced theoretical positions and practical skills in contemporary urban design. Courses will teach students to: carry out digital and analog analyses of urban areas at multiple scales; create a strategic development plan; analyze how ecological, economic, and policy issues affect the making of urban design plans; and understand how to work with stakeholder groups to build consensus and resilience.

Any exceptions will depend upon approval and must be discussed in advance with the UDC Director.

Urban Design Certificate Track 2

Students in Track 2 are required to take two urban design core seminars (6 credits), one urban design analysis class (3 credits), and two urban design elective courses (3 credits each) for a total of 15 credits.

In 2022/2023 students in track 2 can choose 2 seminars among 4 options that are addressing two critical aspects of the UDC core. One core course in history and theory of urban design provides a foundation in the historic, geographic, and cultural diversity of cities worldwide based on a comparative study of exemplary projects. The second core course concentrates on urban design methods and provides design strategies required for analyzing urban processes and intervening in urban environments across multiple scales and temporalities. The urban analysis seminar will introduce students to GIS software technology, mapping techniques, and the ESRI analytical toolbox.

Urban Design Core Seminars Track 2 Academic Year 2022/2023: ARCH/PLAN 5614 Urban Strategies, LAR 7500 Water and the City, UD 8612 Urban Design History and Theory, ARH/ARCH 5500 Wood/Lands, or PLAN 5611 Barcelona Urban History for students who spend the fall term in the Barcelona program.

Electives will complement the core courses by presenting advanced theoretical positions and practical skills in contemporary urban design. Courses will teach students to: carry out digital and analog analyses of urban areas at multiple scales; create a strategic development plan; analyze how ecological, economic, and policy issues affect the making of urban design plans; and understand how to work with stakeholder groups to build consensus and resilience.

Any exceptions will depend upon approval and must be discussed in advance with the UDC Director.

Additional Information

Students should review course requirements and seek advice for course planning by meeting with the Urban Design Certificate Program Director.

Urban Design Certificate classes are listed on the A School Website. Additional classes might count as UDC electives upon approval of the UDC Director. Inquiries should be addressed to the Director, Urban Design Certificate Program.